Apple hit with patent infringement suit over iTunes, movie trailers

By Josh Ong


Droplets Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple accusing the company of violating patents related to interactive links to applications on its website, movie trailer site and iTunes.

The Plano, Tex.-based software company filed its suit in the U.S. District Court in Eastern Texas, a district known for rapid resolution in favor of rights holders in infringement cases, as noted by PatentlyApple. Droplets boasts clients including IBM, Borland and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Droplets was founded in March 2000 with the goal of meeting the needs of "enterprises who seek more efficient ways to deliver highly functional and scalable applications over the Internet."

The patent in question is U.S. Patent No. 6,687,745, entitled "System and method for delivering a graphical user interface of remote applications over a thin bandwidth connection." Droplet describes the invention as a method for remotely delivering "interactive links for presenting applications." The company filed for the patent in June 2000 and was granted in Feb. 2004.

According to the complaint, Apple's own website, its movie trailer site, iTunes and "other web applications" are in violation of the patent.

Apple has over the years faced numerous lawsuits over the iTunes interface and software. Last year, a company accused Apple of violating a video production-related patent via iTunes.

The company is the world's most-sued tech company. According to Apple, patent infringement suits, regardless of merit consume "significant time and expense."

A number of technology companies have taken to calling for patent reform as legal disputes have increased. Last week, the U.S. government passed a reform bill that will overhaul the nation's patent system.